Images above: The completed Staveley Road/ Park Road modal filter; photograph Abundance London)
The controversial permanent barrier at junction between Staveley Road and Park Road has been completed, replacing the ugly plastic temporary barrier which itself had been a point of fierce contention amongst residents.
The completion of the modal filter (a measure that allows the passage of some modes of transport but not others) draws a line under the long and often fierce debate over whether the barrier should stay or be removed. Pedestrians can now diagonally cross at the road’s old junction and cyclists are able to cut through the barrier.
In 2020, two pedestrian islands were removed along Staveley Road and were replaced with a set of temporary traffic lights and a temporary pedestrian crossing. The changes were part of the wider ‘Low-traffic Neighbourhood’ schemes which have been introduced in various places across Chiswick.
Traffic planners at LB Hounslow council said the change was to stop motorists using Staveley Road as a rat-run from the A316 to and from the A4 and to lower pollution levels in the area as a whole.
Traffic surveys showed that 70% traffic through the residential area just drives straight through. Staveley Rd is a residential street which had high volumes of traffic and drivers also routinely sped down it.
The Council’s solution was to put a diagonal barrier across the Staveley Road junction with Park Road, which made it impossible to drive the whole length of either road.
Initially introduced as a trial, the Council said they would be ‘carefully monitoring’ the scheme to judge whether it had been a success. By forcing drivers to take a detour the route has ceased to be a shortcut and residents on Staveley Rd broadly agree the area is now a quieter place to live in.
Opinions still divided
Supporters of the scheme celebrated the completion on Twitter. One said:
“Every time I cycle this way I can’t help but reflect on how unsafe I used to feel, the dangerous close passes by speeding drivers, now it is so much safer. Thank you @LBofHounslow“
TV Broadcaster, Chiswick resident and cycling enthusiast Jeremy Vine said:
“Wonderful this. Stopping literally thousands of cars cutting through. Property prices in these streets will jump.”
Some still see the barrier as an enduring mistake and continue to mistrust LB Hounslow’s official traffic figures, one Chiswick resident called Janice said:
“The fools at the LBH who designed this have no regard for the disruption they have caused. Traffic has just been displaced to run along the congested A316. Their figure of 6,000 cars going down Staveley Road is not backed up by reliable figures. They pluck figures out of the air”
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